Villefranche Pt 2

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Eze Village

This fascinating village in the French Riviera extending from the Mediterranean sea to the hilltop with a medieval village. Its Jardin botanique d’Eze was created after WW11 on a chateaus ruins by town mayor André Gianton and Jean Gastaud of the Jardin Exotique de Monaco. It is sited on a steep terrain falling over 400 meters to the sea with panoramic views of the coast, and known for its impressive collection of cactus and succulents from the Mediterranean region, Africa, and the Americas.

The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306. Members of the lay order of the White Penitents of Èze, were in charge of giving assistance to plague victims, who would hold their meetings there. The shape of the bell-turret is an indication that the village once belonged to the Republic of Genoa. A series of sculptures, Earth Goddesses, by Jean-Philippe Richard is interspersed among the cacti and succulents, as well as the castle ruins. Each sculpture is accompanied by a plaque with an enigmatic message. The first sculpture, Justine or Isis, commemorates the Egyptian goddess of fertility who some people credit with giving her name to the village of Eze.

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Howth Pt 1

Howth is a favourite shooting location of mine. A bustling historic fishing village on the North side of Dublin. Restaurants and fish shops line the east side of the harbour with the yachting community on the west side . Its a walkers paradise with spectacular coastline views of Dublin Bay’s UNESCO biosphere and nearby small islands of Irelands eye and Lambay Island. With the help and cooperation of Shane O’Doherty who runs excellent hiking tours (www.shaneshowthhikes.com ) we managed to get a lower angle as possible of Bailey Lighthouse to give this almost iconic and popular photographic subject a more majestic feel. Along with official permission Shane and I took on board the safety aspect in order to endure the slippy grassy cliff. After our preparation day we returned the following morning at 5.30 am in freezing conditions but fortunately the wind had died down enough for excellent shooting conditions conducive with safety and dealing with shooting long exposures. I shot this during the various changes of light before sunrise and soon after; whilst observing and admiring the beauty unfolding which created different cloud formations, height and direction of the sun that revealed textures and forms in different areas of the landscape/seascape. Tides are also a consideration. Once I was happy with our efforts it was time to attempt to ‘liven’ things up with attracting the local seagulls to make an appearance but despite my supplies of seagull grub (chips oven cooked the night before) and with Shane’s ‘seagull whispering’ reputation, it just wasn’t to be. After all I was optimistic due to the Howth seagull reputation of diving down to steal peoples chips! Ah well, I hope it wasn’t because of the presence of Shane’s trusty dog, Bruno; who at least spotted our first sea otter. After breakfast I had a new brief to fulfil, along Howth harbour which is in Part 2 next week.

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Dublin’s coastal Dart.

white rockpassing train bcopyWhiterock copy copyKilliney dart frombeach copyWhiterockdartlookinbackcropedWhiterockdartlookinbackWhiterockdartlsunriseb copyWhiterockdartlookinbackcropedb copyWhiterocksurfbDuring my two day shoot at this chosen location, my main objective was to shoot the Dart train in a coastal setting within the boundaries of Dublin county. The Dublin Area Rapid Transit system, officially and popularly known as the DART, is an electrified rapid transit railway network serving the coastline and city centre of Dublin. The service makes up the core of Dublin’s suburban railway network , stretching from Greystones at its southernmost terminus to Howth and Malahide in north county Dublin. The DART serves 31 stations and consists of 53 kilometres of track, and carries in the region of 16 million passengers per year. See previous post on this location . Next week is Howth!

Dublin Bay Swimmers

Whilst shooting trains overlooking Dublin Bay last December, (will post soon) I became fascinated with this cove, White Rock. Bono’s back yard (it overlooks his gaff). The sweeping strand has been compared to the Bay of Naples. It has a blue flag for its environmental status. White Rock is cut off from the main strand at high tide. It has a large white changing building for the many swimmers that frequent in all temperatures. A natural swimming platform is carved out of the large rock. Within the cliff is Decco’s Cave. They say the cave is named after an Italian who once lived in it during the 1920’s. It was an entrance to a lead mine around 1751 and later copper mining. The lead was loaded on board a barge on the spot to be exported to England. It’s now deserted.

Jose follows in his family tradition of swimming nude. This shot of him was in December!

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